Interview With Deepak Kanakaraju (Digital Deepak) – A Smart Digital Marketer

Hi Marketers!

I have a very special guest for today’s interview.

He is one of the most successful Digital Marketing Consultant from India.

He is none other than Deepak Kanakaraju (Most of us know him as “Digital Deepak”).

It’s been a pleasure to interview him.

I should mention that:

He has tremendous marketing skills.

Without wasting any time, let’s see what we can learn from this wonderful person…

(#0) Rintu Biswas: You are a well known digital marketing expert, however, please introduce yourself to our new readers (who aren’t fortunate yet to know about you).

Deepak Answer: I have been a blogger and digital marketer for the past 10 years. I started my blog in 2008. Until 2012 I was growing and it became the No1 motorcycle blog in India. I used to get invites for all the Auto Expos, and I even went to China on a fully sponsored trip because of my blog.

After 2012 I moved from my hometown Salem to Bangalore, in search of better opportunities. I worked in various companies as a digital marketing manager and gained a lot of experience. I became a Google ads expert where I was working at Practo because I used to handle the budget of 1 crore per month. I learned B2B marketing when I was working at Razorpay.

In 2013 I started my blog on the side. Until 2016 I kept blogging on the blog, without expecting anything in return. I had a blog subscriber base of 25000 subscribers. I thought it was time to start making some money on the side by launching my own course. I launch the Google Ads course and I made 2.5 lacs in revenue. That was the beginning of me getting into entrepreneurship again. Since then I have sold more than two crores worth of online courses on my blog and started a digital marketing agency called PixelTrack.

Today we are a team of 9 people, and our business involves many components.

We have PixelTrack digital, where we offer digital marketing services to our clients.

We have PixelTrack social, where we have taken initiatives like the digital marketing club.

We have PixelTrack Careers where we help students get placed with good jobs.

We also do corporate training for brands like Mercedes Benz.

(#1) Rintu Biswas: What motivated you to get started with digital marketing?

Deepak Answer: I love marketing as a subject. It has always fascinated me to learn how to communicate in a way that reaches and connects with an audience. It is very hard to convince people to part with their hard earned money, and I feel the job of a marketer and salesman is equally hard.

I started getting interested in digital marketing because digital enhances marketing. Digital marketing gives the power that marketers did not have before the internet age.

Before the internet age, even if you had good content, without the blessing of big publishers like TV and newspapers, you will not be able to spread your message. The fact that you can publish a blog post and tomorrow, theoretically, all the people in the world with an Internet connection can read it, is a mind-blowing power.

I always say that I am more of a marketer than a digital marketer. People get very interested in digital marketing but sometimes they do not apply the fundamentals of marketing.

Digital marketing is now a new way to do marketing. I believe digital marketing will never go out of fashion because marketing and sales can never cease to exist.

(#2) Rintu Biswas: What are the best ways to find low competitive but high converting keywords for local SEO?

Deepak Answer: Around 15% to 20% of the searches that Google gets on any given day are search terms that have never been searched before. Since there is a lot of variety on how people search for keywords, keyword generation tools alone can never give you all the list of keywords that you could target.

The best way to find out good keywords is to first publish some content that you think the users might like to read and get those pages indexed on Google. Once you have a website with at least 20 to 50 pages, you will start seeing a lot of data in Google search console.

The keywords for which your website is triggering impressions, but not clicks indicate the best opportunities. Once you start creating content pages for those keywords you will easily be able to rank for those keywords.

You can also run a Google search ads campaign just to mine for keywords. Google Analytics no longer provides the search terms that people use to visit your website, but Google ads can still provide those keywords in the search terms report. From this report, you can get a lot of keywords.

You don’t need to spend a heavy budget to mine for these keywords. Just run a Google search ad campaign at a low budget for some of the articles on your website. That’s more than enough.

(#3) Rintu Biswas: How to rank service page, category page and product pages in Google (as link building for these pages is really challenging)?

Deepak Answer: The easiest way to rank for any page on your website is to increase your overall domain authority and author rank. If you have a very good domain authority, then ranking for any page inside your domain is going to be very easy.

On top of it, you can build some backlinks using your own web properties, but over time the number of backlinks to internal pages will have a lesser influence on ranking. I am able to rank for a lot of competitive keywords just based on my domain authority.

(#4) Rintu Biswas: What are the top skills a great digital marketer MUST have?

Deepak Answer: As I have discussed before, a digital marketer should be the first marketer and then a digital marketer. A digital marketer should understand everything from a marketing perspective.
Understanding copywriting, product market fit, finding out the needs of the users, how to do market research, competitive analysis, creating a Blue Ocean Strategy, thinking long-term about the business, and a genuine interest in improving the lives of the customers are the top skills that a digital marketer should have.

Understanding how to use digital marketing tools can be done by anyone in a short period of time. Becoming a true marketer is a long process. It is a different mindset and a new way of thinking. It happens over a period of several years and there is no shortcut to that.

Marketers should read a lot of books, write a lot, connect with people around the world, have a lot of life experience, and as a general rule be curious about everything.

My advice might look a little bit different than what other marketers might say, but this is what has worked for me and I can only talk from my life experience.

(#5) Rintu Biswas: How to increase email outreach success rates (% of backlinks) for link building?

Deepak Answer: To be honest I have never done email outreach to gain backlinks. I’ve always focused on publishing quality content and distributing it via multiple channels like email and social media.

When you publish data backed posts, people have to link to you if they are using your research or study in their article. If you publish blog posts with opinions anyone can steal your opinion, however, if you publish block posts with data people cannot just steal your data.

As long as you have a strong marketing funnel through which you can generate revenues, You will have enough money to invest in content creation. And excellent content creation is all that is required to earn backlinks naturally.

(#6) Rintu Biswas: Google SEO or YouTube SEO which one is the future of marketing? Or you recommend both?

Deepak Answer: There is too much dependence on big internet companies for traffic and discovery. I would recommend all marketers to focus on building your own brand.

What would you do if Google and Facebook did not exist? Would you be not on the Internet at all?

The first priority should be always to build our own brand. In a world where Google and Facebook do not exist, people would still be visiting your website directly and consuming your products and services.

One of the reasons I prefer Google search more than YouTube search is because in Google search you are able to rank your own website which is your own property. But on YouTube, whatever content that you create is held by the YouTube platform.

You can use Google, Facebook, and YouTube to build your brand as much as possible through referral traffic. But do not end up hosting all your content on these properties.

(#7) Rintu Biswas: How blogging can help to earn money online?

Deepak Answer: I do not see blogging as a money-making opportunity. Blogging is a content distribution platform. Content marketing is a method of marketing. Marketing is a part of growing a business. And blogging is a small part of content marketing.

Many people think that they can make money by blogging. And many bloggers do make money from blogging. But most of the successful bloggers you have made a lot of money with blogging, usually end up making that money by selling products or services through their blog.

Every successful blogger who has made money has a solid business, and blogging just becomes a marketing method for finding customers for their business.

I have written a lot of articles about making money by blogging, however, I always advise people to treat blogging as a business.

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